According to Gary Kingston of the Vancouver Sun on Tuesday, Canadian Paralympic gold medalist Elisabeth Walker-Young has been named the Canadian chef de mission for the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto. The Parapan American Games will take place from August 7-14, 2015, about 12 days after the Pan American Games that will happen in Toronto throughout the month of July, 2015.
Walker-Young is a four-time paralympic swimmer from Toronto, Ontario, who currently works in an administrative capacity for CurlBC. She is currently the provincial organization's educational programs manager.
During her swimming career, Walker-Young won three gold medals for Canada in swimming at the Paralympic Games. She won the gold medal in two individual events-- the women's 50m butterfly and the 200m individual medley at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, and was part of the Canadian team that won a gold medal in the women's 4x100m individual medley relay at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney.
Walker-Young, who has a disability with her hands, will be balancing her job with CurlBC, her new duties with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and motherhood, as she has a daughter that is four and a half months.
This will be the first time that the Parapan American Games will take place on Canadian soil. The international event will be open to the very best disabled summer athletes from North and South America.
Athletes who have a wide range of disabilities will participate in archery, athletics, boccia, cycling, soccer, goalball, judo, powerlifting, volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball. This will be the fifth Parapan American Games. A total of 1355 athletes participated at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Canada finished in fifth place in the medal standings with 63 medals, behind Brazil, Mexico, the United States and Argentina.